ICA Directors, Kobus & Letitia Prinsloo, celebrating the success of ICA’s involvement with MasterChef SA with ICA alumna and judge, Zola Nene


The big clock on the wall will be ticking once again as the biggest culinary TV show of all time returns to South African living rooms on 28 February 2022. With over 60 adaptations, famous guests and world-renowned judges, MasterChef SA returns to DStv Channel 101 for an impressive fourth season and this time South Africa’s most highly awarded chef school, the ICA, are part and parcel of its showcase!

The ICA has been integrally involved in numerous aspects of the production from the start of its development last year. ICA chef lecturers consulted and helped to design the program content, adhering to the brand’s requirements as well as honouring the finer details of developing world-standard skills and techniques from a training perspective, which of course is the ICA’s first and foremost objective. Besides content, ICA head of faculty, Merizle Mitrovich, was also involved in selecting the contestants from hundreds of entries.

Having trained some of South Africa’s most celebrated and highly awarded chefs and culinary industry professionals, it came as no surprise that an ICA-trained chef was included in the judging panel for this new series. Zola Nene has become a respected celebrity chef, cookbook author and a much-loved household name through her numerous television appearances and well-honed judging roles for several cooking competitions. Zola completed her ICA 3-year Diploma in 2009, specializing in Media Communication – clearly the right training and fit for such a diverse and distinguished chef.

What gets Zola most excited, is how well South Africa is represented in the selection of MasterChef SA Season 4 contestants, showing South Africa to the world in the best light possible.

Zola’s sentiment resonates with the ICA’s vision and mission to cultivate, train and certify South African cheffing talent that can uphold international standards and compete with the best the global culinary world has to offer. As the ICA is appreciating the world-class awards received by both the school and some of its former students in 2021, being a part of an international brand such as MasterChef is yet another confirmation that we are at the forefront of culinary training and development in South Africa. Whether ICA lecturers were consulted for specific, skills-related advice or planning and development of skills tasks, whether currently enrolled Media Communication specialization students were working extremely hard behind the scenes to assist in the smooth running of such a large scale, elite production, or whether formally ICA-trained chefs such as Zola and quite a few selected guest judges are involved in the professional, fair and just ruling of the level of competence of the show’s participants, the ICA and the professionally trained chefs it has produces over the past 3 decades, is certainly widely considered as a culinary training leader.

It is with much excitement that we are looking forward to viewing this season’s production on air. Most of all, the ICA is grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the exclusive production of this calibre. Including not only graduates who have already completed their professional culinary education, but also students who are currently undergoing their chef training and preparation for entering the professional domain, means that such opportunities are always utilized for the bettering and benefit of tuition – abiding by our ethos of absolute training excellence in all aspects of the culinary arts.

MasterChef SA Season 4 starts on Monday 28 February on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 18:00.


Applications for 2023 are now open.